INDIA ABROAD February 17, 2017 27 VALENTINE DAY SPECIAL
By Lavina Melwani.
oung Indians growing
up in America are find-
ing love in ways their
could never have imag-
ined. When their par-
ents first came to America, it was
often after an arranged marriage.
If a man came as a student, he
would soon go back to the home-
land and come back with a fami-
ly-approved wife to look after
him in the new country. These
parents, raising their children in
small-town America, tried to cre-
ate the India they had left
behind, with strict rules of no
dating, no proms and hopes of
finding their children arranged
matches from their own castes,
communities, villages and towns.
Things didn’t always work out
that way. America – bold and
boisterous – happened to their
kids, transforming them into
hyphenated Americans who
thought for themselves. Yet,
many second-generation Indian-Americans did adhere to their
parents’ ideals of an Indian
spouse, just not an arranged
While other communities
freely inter-married, Indian-
Americans have tended to stay
within their own community.
The most recent US census survey showed that was true of 86
percent of Indian-Americans.
Just about 12 percent have married non-Asians, and 2 percent
have married other Asians.
As the Indian-American population has burgeoned, youngsters
have more choice within their
community. They don’t have to
depend on relatives back home
or even traditional matchmakers;
there are mating websites like
Bharat Matrimony or dating sites
like Indiandating or Tinder.
Indians are meeting future
partners at work. So many physicians marry physicians, and
bankers and IT folk tend to find
each other. There are many
social events where friends of
friends connect. A prime attraction is the commonality of culture, food and a remembered
past, which adds sweetness to
relationships and also makes parents happy.
Above, Amit Khubani and Katie
Zegarelli celebrate their intercultural
union first with a Hindu wedding held
in a Sikh Temple and then, left, with a
Catholic church wedding.
Continued on page 28
Young Indian Americans are getting more adventurous in their choice of spouses
Finding Love, American Style